Sea World’s Makahiki Luau dinner show

Makahiki Luau dinner show

Taking in an Orlando dinner show is the best you can do once you arrive here. The Makahiki Luau dinner show (also known as the Polynesian Luau) at Sea World will carry you to a number of rare cultures and tradition of Polynesians.

If you are new to dinner theater, this might be good for you. Satiate your appetite with island specialties including coconuts and island favorites, teaming pineapples, Pu Pu Platters, roasted pork and fresh fish!

This unique Polynesian dinner show takes place every night in the Luau Terrace located inside Sea World Orlando Theme Park. The performers put the right amount of energy into the show and encourage the audience to participate for a more memorable experience. The theater where the dinner is held is very cozy, and you are very close to all the action.
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Popular Sea World trainer Dawn Brancheau dies from killer whale

It’s been all over the news now, so I’m sure you have heard about the tragic death of popular Sea World trainer Dawn Brancheau. She was dragged into the water by a killer whale named Tilikum, a large male Orca.

They don’t know, and likely never will know why the killer whale dragged her into the pool, toyed with her and finally drowned her. Tilikum has had other problems with trainers before.

I have seen many Shamu shows with Dawn Brancheau, so it’s a little more upsetting to me than most who have never seen a Shamu show. She was very experienced with years of training.

But when your working with giant killer whales it only takes a second off guard for something tragic to happen, and it did. I’m not going to get into all the details about it, there are plenty of other articles on it if you want all that.

Instead I thought I’d show the youtube video tribute to Dawn Brancheau from Sea World. You can see her love for animals and the joy she had working with them. Rest in peace Dawn Brancheau.

Sea World’s Aquatica Omaka Rocka new water ride

Sea World's Aquatica Omaka Rocka new water ride

Sea World’s new water park, Aquatica, is getting a brand new and fun water slide for this spring. Called Omaka Rocka, it will be a two-seater tube ride you slide down inside a pipe. What makes it different than the rest is that you will hit walls that you slide high up on, like a skate boarder doing a half-pipe trick.

You’ll end up rocking back and forth on the walls, feeling almost weightless at each peak. Finally at the end you’ll come skimming out into a splashdown area. It’s the first new water slide Aquatica has added since it opened two years ago. It will share the Whanau Way tower already there.

I’ve seen it under construction, and they should have no problem getting it done to open on time, which is March. It looks like a lot of fun and I’ll be sure to ride it once it’s open. Aquatica is a very fun park and well worth it to spend a day there!

Aquatica water park tickets

Click here for Aquatica water park discount tickets!

Christmas Holiday events going on at Sea World

Polar Express show plus other holiday events at Sea World Orlando

Sea World of Orlando has some new Christmas holiday events this year, along with some old ones. The Shamu show features new holiday music and festive lights, along with new tricks from Shamu and friends.

Clyde and Seamore, the funny, comical sea lions have a new Christmas show called “Countdown to Christmas” that is a hoot.

The gang from Sesame Street will be at Sea World putting on their own holiday show called “A Sesame Street Christmas.” The show will featuring our favorite yellow friend Big Bird and the other popular character as they show what Christmas is all about. There will also be a meet and greet after the show for kids.
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Thanksgiving day at Universal Studios and Sea World

Thanksgiving day at Universal Studios and Sea World

A week ago I made a post about what is going on Thanksgiving day at Disney. So I thought I’d also tell you what will be going on at Universal Studios and Sea World on Thanksgiving day. The truth of the matter is, there really is not that much extra going on at any of the theme parks on Thanksgiving day, except for bigger crowds!

Both Universal Studios and Sea World will have a few extra decorations and so on with a Thanksgiving theme. But there are no special Thanksgiving parades planned, or any Thanksgiving shows. It’s just not a Holiday that lends itself good with theme parks.

Here and there you will find restaurants in both Universal Studios and Sea World that will be serving the traditional Thanksgiving meal, like turkey, ham and cranberries. Normally it will be the bigger restaurants in the parks that will be serving Thanksgiving meals.

But that’s really about the only things that will be different. However because it’s a Holiday the parks WILL be full, very full. So be prepared for that and come early. Right after Thanksgiving all the parks will put up their Christmas decorations and lights.

They really do a good job transforming the parks into a Christmas theme, and the lights at night are fantastic. So if you are visiting the parks at Thanksgiving make sure you also come back the day or two after Thanksgiving, and stay till night to see the lights!

Sea World raises basic ticket prices again, still lower than Disney

sea world raises prices again, still lower than Disney

Picture by Joe Burbank, Orlando Sentinel

Well I knew it was going to happen, I just did not know when. Today Sea World of Orlando announced that they would raise the price of a basic one day ticket. The cost now will be $78.95 for a basic one day ticket to Sea World. The move brings Sea World’s base price to just 5 cents less than single-day, single-park tickets to Disney or Universal, both of which raised their own prices over the summer.

Every year all of the big three theme parks raise their base, one day one park ticket prices. So it’s nothing new, it happens every year. But I wanted to let you know this. Now, most of the theme park tickets people buy actually cost less than this. That’s because of all the special multi-day and park hopper ticket deals you can find.

In fact you should never buy a one day, base price ticket to one park at Disney, Universal Studios or Sea World. Normally if your on a vacation in Orlando your going to spend several days at the parks. All of them offer two, three or more day ticket deals and park hopper specials.

But they have to have a base price to work with, so they always have a standard, one day one park price to work with. As you can see, all the theme parks are very close when it comes to their base price. But it can vary widely with multi-day and park hopper deals. Now if only they would lower their base price!

Sea World ride height requirements, why so high?

Sea World's Journey to atlantis ride

Recently someone asked me why it seems like the height requirement on all the rides at Sea World are so high? For a kid friendly theme park, she expected much more rides that a toddler up to kids 30 inches or shorter could ride. Well, when Sea World first opened they did not have hardly any rides at all! Sea World was made to be primarily an aquatic animal and sea life park.

All of the animal shows and exhibits anyone can go and see, even toddlers. But down the road Sea World decided to start making a few rides so they could attract a wider audience. Since they were making rides one by one, each one had to be a thrill ride, made to attract most people, from teens to adults.

Because a thrill ride throws you around and even turns you upside down, you have to be tall enough for the shoulder harness and seats to hold you in place. A short person or child could slip under the harness, or be thrown or bounced right out of their seat. Since all the rides they made so far are thrill rides, the height requirement has been on the high side.
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How far from the Orlando airport is Disney and other theme parks?

Orlando Florida map of airport distance to Disney, Universal, Sea World and other attractions

Click here to open larger map in new window

One of the most asked questions I get is how far from the Orlando International airport is Walt Disney World, Sea World and all the other attractions. So I’ll give you a quick run-down in this post on the distance in miles from the Orlando airport to Disney and many other attractions and areas around the central Florida area.

The Orlando airport connects to major interstates and toll roads that gets you right to all the major attractions. You can pretty much stay on only one or two roads all the way to where your going. Reading all the road signs can be tricky, but for the most part it’s pretty simple to drive from the Orlando airport to where your going.

Now for the number one question I’m asked: how far is Walt Disney World from the Orlando airport? Disney itself is 44 square miles big, so it depends on what part your going to! But in general Disney World is about 22 miles from the Orlando airport.
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Fall season best time for Orlando vacation theme parks visit

best time for a Orlando vacation is in the fall for Disney and Universal

Ok so my attempt at using one of my Vermont fall pictures and Tinkerbell is not so hot! I’ll do better next time. Now that fall is here I wanted to say something I’ve said before and I’ll say again; the fall season is the BEST time, in my opinion, for your Orlando vacation to see Disney, Universal Studios, Sea World and the others.

The reason for this is many, and I’ll explain them all here. The summertime is actually the busiest time of the year for all the theme parks in Orlando. So, what happens when any area is at it’s peak for tourist? The prices for everything is the highest it will be all year long. Also, the crowds are the fullest, and the Florida sun is at it’s hottest. To me summer is the WORST time to come to Orlando!

But now that it’s fall, the summer crowds are gone. That means the prices for hotels, rental cars, airlines and so many other things are down. Or at least on their way down right now. It’s not as hot in the fall, yet still plenty warm. Most people underestimate how hot it gets here in Orlando in the summer. Also the afternoon thunderstorms are gone, or at least much fewer.
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Orlando Theme park ride height requirements

Orlando theme park ride height requirements

One of the most frustrating things to experience at a theme park is getting to a ride your kid has been talking about forever, only to find that he or she is not tall enough to ride it. The temper tantrums I have seen those poor kids throw, oh boy! So it’s a good idea to check first and make sure your child is tall enough to ride the ride before getting to it.

First let me explain just why they have height limits. Each ride is made with what they figure is an “average” size of the person who will be riding it. Rides for little kids of course are made for child size. Bigger rides are made for a happy medium between kids heights and full, tall adults. The restraints that hold you in are made to fit MOST sizes, but there is a limit as to how much difference they can hold.

Mild rides that don’t turn upside down or throw you around too much have a smaller height limit because there is less chance your going to get thrown out even if the restraints are loose on you. More extreme rides that do loops and throw you around must hold you in your seat very tightly. So you must be taller so the shoulder harness can securely lock you in place.
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Are Orlando theme parks still empty?

Are Orlando theme parks starting to fill up now

Sorry it’s been a while since I made a post here, life has a way of taking all your time! Because of the bad economy this summer has seen light crowds at the Orlando Florida theme parks. Disney World, Universal Studios and Sea World has all seen attendance drop like a gold plated balloon! More and more however I keep reading about how things are getting better overall.

So, has things picked up at the theme parks? In a word, NO! This later part of the summer might be seeing a little bit more park attendance than the first part of the summer. But overall things are still down in the Orlando area. All the theme parks, hotels and rental agencies still report lower than normal sales. Of course I can see that just by going around town and looking with my own eyes.

It will not be too long before school starts. Once that happens things always slow down a lot, this year more than ever. This fall will be a fantastic time for that Walt Disney World or Universal Studios vacation. As I have said before fall has the best of both worlds in Orlando. It’s cooler, less humid and rains less than in the summer. Crowds are gone, prices go down and great deals can be had.

The only down side is that some rides in the parks get shut down for maintenance work, there are less fireworks and shows and less parades in the parks. But overall your enjoyment will be much better, especially since you can actually get on more rides and save money! So things might be picking up a little here, but the whole rest of the year promises to still be a slow one.

Sea World’s new roller coaster Manta open!

Well it’s time to get everyone up to date on the latest news around Orlando, Fl! So what better way then to announce the grand opening of Sea World’s new roller coaster, Manta! It will have it’s official opening the 22nd, Friday. But people already can ride it, and word of mouth is it’s a fantastic ride!

Billed as the only one of it’s kind in Florida, Manta has a sneak twist to it. You get in like any other roller coaster that hangs under the rail. But then once your all strapped in place it moves you all forward and down, until your stretched out almost like in a superman position. You can imagine how much faster it seems to be going when your face down looking at the ground zoom by.

Manta Puts you through loops and turns, followed by what looks like near misses of waterfalls and other objects. It has a nice aquatic theme in keeping with the parks animals and fish. It’s a very fun ride and the neat position you get put into is one you have to experience. A word of warning however.

Make sure you take EVERYTHING out of your pockets, off your head and around your neck! Nothing you try to keep on you will stay on unless it’s tied on you. Hats, sunglasses, flip flops, phones in your pocket, change, everything will fall off you. Use the lockers near the ride to store all your stuff. Then get ready for the ride of your life!